tv Inside Washington PBS July 25, 2010 2:00pm-2:30pm PST
>> production assistance for "inside washington" was provided by allbritton communications and "politico," reporting on the legislative, executive, and political arena. >> so i didn't give him the full force of what i could do. >> this week on "inside washington," shirley shahz errod, the new media, and the rush to judgment. next time, how about the facts? charlie rangel charged with multiple ethics violations. the president signs finex reform into law -- finance reform into law. >> republicans say that we must pay for unemployment insurance but was not pay for tax cuts for the wealthy. >> a. "washington post"
investigation reveals the multimillion-dollar world of intelligence gone haywire. and having a tea party in congress. >> what we are going to do is in by real people in and get their great ideas. captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org-- >> some of you may remember the good old days of newspapers and tv and radio news where you had hours to work on your story and your editors and producers plenty of time to go through your stuff for accuracy. if you remember, you are a dinosaur. welcome to the blogosphere and the 24-hour instant headlines. which brings me to the story of ousted agriculture department official shirley sherrod, who was fired based on a single piece of internet video that
was edited out of context and posted on a conservative website and air on fox news and bought lock, stock, and barrel by the obama administration. >> for someone to think i was a racist, someone who has worked against racism all my life, really hurt. >> a good woman has gone through a very difficult period. i will have to live with that for a long time. >> tom vilsack apologizes. at the white house, robert gibbs apologizes. on fox, bill reilly apologizes but finally, the president himself calls shirley himself. colby, what you make of this? >> it is a sad commentary on where we are as a country. if you listen to the speech, it was a good speech, made the exact opposite point that the right-wingers tried to make out of it. but everybody behaved bad up and down the line, including the president.
i wrote an article that set the administration showed its two colors -- true colors, which is yellow. >> perhaps you ought to apologize for saying that fox news had on the air before the administration fired her bro. our story appeared on fox news later. -- her story appeared on fox news later. and the secretary about culture repeated his intention to have her fired -- secretary of agriculture repeated his intention to have her fire. the 6:00 news show, i call for reinstatement and an apology, as did the entire fox news channel. -- panel. >> nobody mentioned that the naacp called for her firing. that speech was to chapter of the naacp.
there are a lot of lessons here and we keep relearning these lessons. it is frequently about race, but not always. we are in such a madcap race to get our points in, and i am not going to point fingers at the right or left. i thought the apologies were genuine, because it was a moment where everyone went, oh, my, god. >> mark? >> i think it is a comment on the press in the country as much as one race. i know that the story was carried and pushed on by fox news, it was bill o'reilly who did call for her resignation, sean hannity who did, but it, and to shepard smith's credit, he said "we do not run it on the show because we do not believe the source." but as you put it in the opening, it is the rush for eyeballs. it for de -- you forget
checking your sources and all thing you learned. it is making controversy and getting into the system and making people talk about it. boy, it is a terrible and sad commentary. the one at shirley sherrod speech that -- colby's point is valid on this one -- the speech is that the difference between us is class, not race, the have- not versus the haves, and it was a great speech. >> why would the obama administration respond almost immediately to this thing? >> because they are hypersensitive to the charge that they are soft on black people and our preference for black people. -- and have a preference for black people. andrew breitbart, who pushed -- >> biggovernment blog. >> did not apologize.
he saw no reason to apologize. he knew exactly what he was going to do. it was mean-spirited and ugly and knew exactly what he was trying to achieve. >> the only reason this is a story is because of the administration, a democratic administration can her immediately, as she set herself in interview. she was told that it was going to be on glenn beck that afternoon, and in fact, he did not have that story. it was the paranoia of the administration, and the naacp -- >> that is absolutely -- >> attacked her without checking the tape. >> absolutely wrong. the culprit is andrew breitbart, who put out the doctor to take it -- the doctored tape. >> you are absolving the
administration for its action? you are absolving the naacp -- >> i can be critical of the naacp, but -- >> why aren't you? >> because i don't have to in this case. we have to look up how that thing started. >> this was a big lie. >> it big lie, a big snip, let the record show that colby already said that the administration is yellow, and that is about as tough as you can be. they did take because of -- cave because of van jones, the black panther charge of a voter intimidation in philadelphia. this only want a bible because of andrew breitbart, and fox news, -- only went viral because of andrew breitbart and fox news it was all fox news? no. >> didn't the naacp condemn the
remarks? >> they did and then they said they got snookered. i watched sean hannity with the blonde woman who is the darling of the right -- >> ann coulter. >> who said that andrew breitbart was set up. she is making him the victim. it is beyond comprehension on that side. >> talk about selective editing. the main news show on fox at 6:00 with threbret baier -- we did not touch the store on monday because we had no background. we touch the story on tuesday at the time, the day before, the deputy chief of staff was the commanding -- commending his staff at "politico" the quick
action on the story of canning her. if you are going to have the full record here, you ought to show the full record. >> what you did is also what hannity and bill o'reilly did. >> this is not fox news story. this is an naacp story and shirley sherrod story. >> this is about a big lie that the media facilitated without checking. i don't think you should be paranoid about fox or anything like that. there is plenty of adults to go around here. the real story is that a big lie -- plenty of guilt to go around here. the bills are is that a big lie went around -- >> in the world of my colleagues here, at the root of all evil is fox -- >> note, no -- >> the administration acted
first. >> we have to take a break. charlie rangel is in big trouble to the delight of republicans and dread of democrats. >> this gives me an opportunity to respond to my friends and constituents who supported me for close to 40 years. all i've been able to get them is to trust me. >> former ways and means committee chairman charlie rangel and charged with ethics violations, among them the failure to report income. how bad is this for the democrats? >> bad potentially. i liked and admired charlie rangel. i want to believe the best yea . but it is starting to echo 2006. not only is the wind the republicans back and the democrats face, but you remember that your the scandals of mark foley and duke cunningham.
they have been a scandal-free since then at the timing could not be worse. >> it is terribly sad to see somebody who really has contributed so much, from a different era, but that does not excuse the things he is accused of if he did them. the democrats did get him to step down as chair of the ways and means committee. it would probably be better for him at his age and definitely better for the democrats if he retired and there will be a big push for him to do that. >> well they do that, colby? >> he has a choice. he should have accepted the deal with the committee. he should have it accepted the
criticism and the fines. instead, he went out public and he will go out on a shield. >> charles? >> at the beginning of this administration, there was this meme of high officials, tim geithner, et tom daschle, who had tax issues and who paid precisely what they should have. these are people who would ostensibly be involved in deciding everybody else's taxes. charlie rangel is the epitome of that, being in charge of the tax-writing committee. he has the tax problems. it is the worst timing, and in part because the democrats held off on this. it has been a year and have since the beginning of the investigation. -- the year and a half since the beginning of the investigation. i think there will be tremendous pressure from the leadership and colleagues to take himself and the start of the front pages. -- and the story off the front pages.
>> the president signed the financial reform bill this week. and democrats were able to break through their republican filibuster on the extension of unemployment benefits. mitch mcconnell says they want to know where the $30 million to fund it is coming from. >> we are in a recession still. we are in deficit spending. we have two wars going on. i realize this is apples and oranges to some extent, but at the same time, to be talking of a continuing tax benefits for people -- tax benefits for these people is crazy. >> bernanke had an interesting thing to say. he was on capitol hill this week and he said that even though you have to get the long-term budget in control, he says he would be against spending cuts or tax increases right now.
which is sort of for the president is. but i think is going to put pressure on democrats as the year ends to extend the bush cuts for a least a year or two, unless it is coming from the federal reserve. >> charles is wrong on this. tim geithner says that there is no way in the world the tax for those over to -- the taxpayers were to order to be -- the tax breaks for those over to order to be thousand dollars would be extended. -- tim bender says there is no way that the tax breaks for those over to water to the dozen dollars would be extended. if you are talking about doing something about fiscal sanity, and, i would point out, alan greenspan, who is in a blur of the original tax cuts, has told -- who is the any of the
original tax cuts, as called for their appeal. >> the head of the federal reserve, by saying he is against increases in taxes, when he is supporting -- is supporting an extension of the cuts. >> the secretary of the treasury is not for extending the tax cuts. i think the republicans have a hard case to make against extending unemployment insurance and keeping the tax cuts on the rich on the books. >> out of the 850,000 americans who have top-secret clearances, about 260,000 of them are actually contractors. what happened after 9/11, because they wanted to increase the capabilities so quickly, the bush administration and congress allowed the funding to contractors but not to the
federal workforce. >> that is pulitzer prize- winning "washington post" reporter dana priest, who with william arkin wrote a blockbuster series of stories about intelligence gathering, billions and billions of dollars dollars spent on intelligence gathering. according to them, the system is so big and bloated that lines of responsibility are hopelessly blurred. there is information about the underwear bomber -- tackled by a passenger on the airplane. >> the first part was the one i found most interesting, the growth of these agencies. some of the redundancy is in some ways good. it is a way of cross checking. but it has apparently reached a point where it is out of hand. remember, though, intelligence gathering is just that, polling
information from a lot of different sources. the big challenges the analysis side, sifting through that stuff. >> one of the fatal errors is that the new superstructure of the director of national intelligence, who was supposed to be this new institution that would control everything and rationalize it, was given no power of the purse. he basically has no control over the 17 other elements. which means it is simply another lawyer added, which increases confusion. in the 9/11 report, there was a recommendation that have budgetary authority, but it does not. that is one of the reasons that it is a sprawling, out of control bureaucracy, which leads to, as you say, a huge errors, as in the case of the underwear bomber. >> charles is right about this. you don't have budgetary power, you don't control anything. it is a headless horseman in a
way. but i want to say something about contractors. contractors come by the way, is where the huge growth is, and are more expensive than employees by 25%, and they just during good people from the government. >> there are all2005 ordered companies that have the contractors across --, 2500 companies that have contractors across the country. i feel kind of pride that i don't have one of the security clearances. -- i feel kind of deprive it that don't have one of the security clearances. not just but i could spend on a liberal cause, but a conservative cause. >> at the state department, everybody gets cleared for top- secret. >> dana priest and william parkin spent two years on this story, in this age of instant communication.
tea party comes to congress. >> we are opening up our doors to members of congress and letting the people with real stories and realize speak to us about their concerns. >> that is minnesota republican michelle bachmann on the formation of the tea party caucus in the house. she says she will sit down with ordinary americans who she says want to take their country back. from whom do they wish to take the country back. >> let me explain to people who are watching for the first time that this is the weekly sarah palin said it -- weekly sarah palin segment. >> no, that is michelle bachmann. >> she is the summer substitute. i just wanted to explain to anyone who -- >> the pollster stanley greenberg did the definitive
survey of who these folks are, and what is fascinating is that he exploded a couple of minutes that are charged by congresswoman michelle bachmann and others. over 90% of the tea party members in view president obama as a socialist, as a socialist. 92% disapprove of them, 89% of them disapprove of him as strongly. this is not a representative group. by a three-one margin, they think favorably of big corporations such as bp and aig. it is not a church-driven. they are married and older, but this is a republican group and they will have one half of the republican party, and it will be an enormous impact if the republicans to win in november. >> we talked about the tea party before and i have written about the tea party, to their chagrin. not nice people.
they are not nice people. they are mean spirited people. they fly and the flag of the fiscal responsibility, -- they fly under the flag of the fiscal responsibility but there is a lot of animosity there. >> if we were not in a year when the republican side had the wind at the back, this movement would devour the republican party. i like the two-party system. i think it is good for the country. i am afraid of what this is going to do for the republican party. >> i really accept the deepest of these of my colleagues here, and i know how concerned they are -- the deep sympathies of my colleagues here and i know how concerned they are about the future of conservatism and republicans. come on, this is rubbish. this is an important element of the republican resurgence,
entirely spontaneous, completely driven by opposition to the expansion of the role of government, which began with this administration with great legislation's instituting that. it's a natural pushback and is extremely healthy for any democracy to have that. >> we are all for democracy, colby. >> yes, we are, but let's get back to the point of where these people come from. about a year ago, the president of the united states had a simple idea, to speak to american schoolchildren about going to school and applying themselves. there was a cry from that side of the political spectrum saying, open but we don't want the president to speak to our kids -- "we don't want a president to speak to our kids." this was before health care was enacted, but for financial
reform is enacted, but for the spectrum of big government -- before financial reform was enacted and the spectrum of big government was in play. these are people who did not like barack obama. the poll that marked cited just a minute ago. -- mark cited just a minute ago. >> what richard nixon left office, there were 25% of the population who still supported him. there is 25 percent of the population that will support any crazy idea. >> this instance of last year occurred after the stimulus, the largest spending bill in the history of the american republic. that began the tea party reaction. people say that when you expand government that much, you will incur debt and will have to raise taxes.
i know a lot of people in the movement and they are not who colby is a saying they are. are there people on the fringe? absolutely. but this is a movement with millions of people, and to call them racists -- >> i am saying -- to cite the health-care bill that moves the country -- >> i did not cite health care. >> it has been cited before you, and the health-care bill comes up over and over again. this movement was before the health care bill and a for financial reform -- before financial reform. these people did not like barack obama from the date it took -- he took office. >> this came with the enactment of the stimulus bill -- >> but that -- >> this is a president who gave
a speech a month after his inauguration where he said he wanted to essentially take over or least expand the role of government, education, health care -- >> we have had one successful conservative leader in this country since teddy roosevelt, ronald reagan did ronald reagan was the antithesis of the tea party. he colluded, conspired, cooperated to o'neill -- with tip o'neill, the democratic speaker, to sit social security in 1983. having seen what happened with the tax cuts in 1981, he signed the largest tax increase in history because he was worried about the budget deficit. the cardinal principle of it tea party, according to stanley greenberg and this survey, is that any cooperation with the other side is viewed as treason. this is not good for democracy. this is unhealthy for democracy
of any sort. >> i admire your retroactive admiration of ronald reagan. he was a guy so conservative that he opposed the return of the panama canal, for god's sake. that somehow he was a closet liberal -- he was so right wing in 1980's the even conservatives were worried about his election. to paint him as kind of a moderate is completely wrong. >> you are not addressing the point that mark made. >> last word. see you next week. for a transcript of this broadcast, log on to insidewashington.tv.